From the East balcony, a view over our narthex and the Rite of Baptism as celebrated at a recent Sunday Mass.
What’s interesting is that over the past fourteen years, no young person or anybody else for that matter, needs prompting to leave their seats to get a closer look if they wish.
Your parish is to be congratulated for the open feeling that we see above and the inviting atmosphere that gets people out of their seats and to gather around the baptismal pool (not just a wimpy little font). Well done, good and faithul servants!
LOL! I did a doubletake, cause at first I thought this was a picture of a //mall// with a fountain in the center! then I saw the word baptism, and thought “they do baptisms in a mall?” Then I looked at the picture again, and it isn’t a mall, just an unorthodox design. ;) I’ve been of two hearts regarding Baptism during the Mass. On the one hand, it seems out of place, breaking the flow of the liturgical action, and that’s how I’ve experienced it since childhood, before I’d ever read anything about the nature of Liturgy. I don’t know of historical precedence for this. Even at Easter and Pentecost, Baptism was administered at a vigil, and, as Pope Leo’s Epist. xvi mentions, the Church did not for a long time recognize any other days for Baptism except in the danger of death. At the liturgical reform, there seemed to be a decision that the middle of the Liturgical Action should be the proper place for several different rites and sacraments. Though it’s never “felt” right, at the same time I recognize that there are many people who don’t have the innate love for the rites of the Church that I’ve had since childhood, and many of these people might not assist at a baptism if it wasn’t during Mass. I end up feeling a bit like St. Paul: “Whether in liturgical honesty or dissimulation, I thank my Lord that the People of God participate together in baptisms.”
It couldn’t be a mall. The chief advertisements are the Cross of Christ and the People of God. But I think we all know you’re just dropping a funny on us.
As for the inclusion of sacraments and rites into the Mass, I think you’ll find that ordination has always been located in a Mass. Funerals, too. Weddings, confirmation, dedication of a church …. Certainly it must be done well. But the Mass has been sturdy enough to bear the weight of other rites for centuries. Many parishes seem to be doing okay.